There was much relief today as anti-destitution campaigner, Dianne Ngoza, a Zambian nurse who has lived in the UK for 14 years, was freed on bail from Yarl's Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire.
Dianne was originally detained at Dallas Court reporting centre in Salford almost three weeks ago, under laws that were only previously used to deport criminals, much to the disgust of community organisations, friends and supporters.
Since then, there's been a big campaign, backed by Manchester MP Lucy Powell, church and human rights groups, to free Dianne. This morning she was granted bail by an immigration judge who stated that the initial reasons for detaining her were no longer valid. She is now free to promote her case to stay in the UK.
"The judge specifically remarked on Dianne's strong ties to the community and he made a special mention of the petition Dianne's many supporters have signed" said Dr Rhetta Moran, of RAPAR who was in court. Dianne will be attending the RAPAR annual meeting at Friends' Meeting House in Manchester tonight.
Also in court was Anthony Brown from Clitheroe who said "It's a very heartwarming decision. I was shocked by how frail she was and struck by how strong she is despite that."
"At least now I can go home and eat my vegan food I'm so grateful" said Dianne "Thank you so much to all my supporters. I am profoundly touched by your kindness."
For a full background see previous Salford Star articles....
Shock as Manchester anti destitution campaigner detained at Salford Dallas Court – click here
UK Government to Deport Manchester Campaigner – click here